Fishing & Boating News

Plantation Angler Wins Key West S.L.A.M. Fishing Tournament

by: Andy Newman/Carol Shaughnessy,

Eleven-year-old William Collier of Atlanta, Ga., earned the tournaments fly division championship after catching and releasing five tarpon.
Photo by Newman Agency
(Sep. 11, 2012 - KEY WEST, Florida Keys)

Frank Delucas released six tarpon, five permit and a bonefish to win the grand champion angler title at the Robert James Sales S.L.A.M. Celebrity Tournament that ended Sunday, Sept. 9.

Delucas, who lives in Plantation, Fla., also was recognized for catching and releasing the most permit. In addition, he was named top rod angler on the first of the S.L.A.M.'s two fishing days after scoring a "slam" for releasing one of each target species.

Delucas has fished the tournament, which raises funds to fight cystic fibrosis, for six years. He credited his 2012 victory in great part to the skill and patience of his guide, Captain Mark Krowka of Islamorada, Fla.

"He's the best all-around flats guide there is," Delucas said.

Krowka was named guide to the grand champion angler.

Eleven-year-old William Collier of Atlanta, Ga., earned the tournament's fly division championship after catching and releasing five tarpon. Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after birth, the fifth-grade student is a seasoned angler despite his youth.

His greatest tournament challenge, Collier said, was "trying to get the fly in the right place when I was casting to the fish. You had to figure out the wind direction."

Collier fished with his father, Cal Collier Jr., who caught a permit and a tarpon. Guided by Captain Justin Rea of Sugarloaf Key, Fla., the father-and-son duo took runner-up honors in the team division.

The team championship went to Jim Bokor Jr. of Buffalo, N.Y., and Eddie Huff of Bristol, Tenn. Fishing with Islamorada's Captain Richard Black, they scored four tarpon, two bonefish and a permit that was the tournament?s largest.

The celebrity grand champion and spin/plug division champion was Kevin Dineen, head coach of the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers, who lives in Parkland, Fla. Guided by Captain Mark Hlis of Islamorada, he caught two tarpon.

Top female angler was Bonnie Christ of Alexandria, Va., with one permit caught while fishing with Captain Andy Thompson. The

S.L.A.M. attracted 19 teams that released a total of 39 tarpon, 15 permit and 9 bonefish. The tournament is the first event of the annual Redbone Trilogy that raises money for cystic fibrosis treatment and research. The Baybone Celebrity Tournament follows Oct. 5-7 in Key Largo and the Redbone Celebrity Tournament is planned for Nov. 2-4 in Islamorada waters.